Long-Term Honda Africa Twin: Introduction

The remake of Honda's iconic ADV joins the Motorcyclist staff

honda africa twin
"It’s unlikely that I’ll tackle a roadrace circuit like I did with Ducati’s Multistrada. The other three options, though, a thousand times yes."Drew Ruiz

It's taken a little longer than we intended, but the Africa Twin has finally joined our long-term fleet. I'm excited. This bike is a world away from my last assignment, Yamaha's YZF-R1 superbike, but I was ready for a change. While the Africa Twin doesn't tap my adrenal gland in the same way as the R1, it's already a treat on the daily commute, and freeway stints have been a breeze. At 6-foot-2, I could stand a taller windshield, but other than that it's money.

Typically, my goal for a long-term project is to explore every facet of motorcycling on the machine—commuting, touring, exploring, and track riding. In the case of the AT, it's unlikely that I'll tackle a roadrace circuit like I did with the Ducati's Multistrada. The other three options, though, a thousand times yes. In fact, I've already dipped my toes into Honda's parts catalog and begun outfitting the Africa Twin to make it even more versatile.

This bike now has a centerstand ($200; powersports.honda.com), which I would recommend to any owner. My first reaction was that 200 bucks is pretty pricey for a piece of bent metal, but the aftermarket alternatives are priced similarly. And it works great. I also couldn’t resist the saddlebags because I know I’ll be looking for adventure and I wanted to try the Honda parts. For factory hard bags with a total capacity of 70 liters (30 right, 40 left), the $700 price tag seems reasonable. Locks are keyed to the ignition, too, which is great except I can’t leave them unlocked. C’mon, Honda, trust me!

Looking down the trail, there are obviously lots of options. Got something you want me to try? Write me at mcmail@bonniercorp.com. In the meantime, I see knobby tires in the Africa Twin’s future, as well as that taller windshield. Not to mention some crashbars, maybe a skid plate, and I’d love to see how the AT handles a couple’s camping trip with everything but the kitchen sink strapped to the luggage rack. Too many roads, not enough time, as usual.

Wrist Zack Courts
MSRP (2017) $13,299
Miles 4,558
MPG 50
Mods Centerstand, saddlebags
Update 1